North Carolina Child Care Lawyers
Many parents in North Carolina rely on daycare centers to look after their children while they work. This means entrusting an individual or a facility with the well-being of an innocent child. Taking care of children is not an easy task, but daycare facilities have an obligation to meet the basic needs of a child throughout the day and provide them with a safe environment. The sad fact is that more than 30,000 kids have to receive emergency room treatment due to injuries that occur in a daycare setting or while in the care of a non-relative during an average year in the United States.
After putting your faith in a daycare provider, it is devastating to learn that your child has been harmed in any way. But you don’t have to face these terrible circumstances alone. The North Carolina daycare abuse attorneys at Hardison & Cochran are concerned about what your child went through and we want to assist your family as you recover from this ordeal.
If your child has been injured due to the negligence of a daycare facility or a non-relative childcare provider, the most important thing is to focus on getting the young person well again. Once you’re ready to discuss your legal options, call the Raleigh personal injury lawyers at Hardison & Cochran toll-free at 800-434-8399 or fill out our online contact form. You’ll get a response within 24 hours and the initial consultation is always free.
Our attorneys have experience with daycare accident and abuse cases, and we represent clients throughout North Carolina, including Raleigh, Cary, Durham, Wake County, Fayetteville, Dunn, Greensboro, Research Triangle Park, Wilmington, the Triangle, the Triad, Person County and Southern Pines. Let us help you today.
Forms and Signs of Child Abuse in NC Daycare Settings
Different forms of abuse can occur at daycare facilities in North Carolina, including physical, sexual and emotional mistreatment.
Signs of physical abuse and emotional neglect include:
- Cuts, abrasions, bruises and lacerations
- Burn marks or scalding
- Complaints of pain
- Fear when faced with adult contact of any kind
- Explanations of pain that don’t make sense
- Vacant or frozen stare
- Apprehension when other children cry
Some indicators of sexual abuse include:
- Difficulty in walking or sitting
- Torn, stained or bloody underwear
- Pain, swelling or itching in the genital area
- Painful urination
- Bruises, bleeding or lacerations on the genitals or anus
- Vaginal/penile discharge
- Frequent touching or fondling of genitals or masturbation
- Repetitive actions such as sucking, biting or rocking
- Increased need for parental affection
- Excessive bathing
- Re-enactment of abuse using dolls, drawings or friends
- Avoidance of certain staff, relatives or friends
- Neglected appearance
Protecting Your Child From Signs of Child Abuse in Daycares
All daycare centers are not guilty of neglecting or abusing the kids who are dependent on them each day. In fact, the majority of daycare providers are responsible, showing compassion and concern for the children’s best interests. It is estimated that only 3 percent of reported child abuse cases take place in child care facilities. Despite this modest figure, it only takes one negligent daycare organization to cause your child great harm with negative effects that can linger for years to come.
According to North Carolina law, an individual who is caring for more than two children over four hours per day needs to be licensed. This means following a detailed application process and attending a pre-licensing workshop. New daycare providers also must have a childcare consultant assigned by the state. Make sure that whomever you choose to care for your child has received this license and state training.
It’s important to know that under North Carolina law, the administrator of a childcare center must be at least 21 years of age and have a North Carolina Early Childhood Administration Credential or its equivalent. Also, lead teachers in a childcare facility must be at least 18 years old and hold a North Carolina Early Childhood Credential or its equivalent as well. If the administrators and head instructors don’t meet these requirements, they need to be working toward gaining the credentials within six months of their hiring date.
You also have the right to question potential daycare providers about the process they use to screen employees. Proper background checks are extremely important. Otherwise, your child could be exposed to dangerous individuals while you’re not around. This is why every staff member must undergo a criminal background check before being hired and then every three years for the duration of their employment at a North Carolina daycare facility.
Besides your ability to find out whether a prospective daycare center is licensed and has employees who have passed criminal background checks, you also have other rights as a parent, including:
- You can enter a family child care home or facility at any time while your child is there.
- You can see the license displayed in a prominent place.
- You can know exactly how your child will be disciplined. Be sure you are comfortable with any punishment methods. Also, maintain daily communication with your child about the day’s events and make sure it matches what the daycare center tells you.
- You can make sure that meals and snacks are nutritious with portions that are large enough to satisfy their hunger during the day. By law, food must be offered once every four hours.
- You can expect outdoor playtime when weather permits at least one hour a day for preschool children and for at least 30 minutes a day for children under 2.
- You can make sure there is ample space and time provided for rest.
It can be overwhelming to choose an appropriate daycare center for your child. State referral agencies in North Carolina such as the Division of Child Development and Early Education are available to help you find the right fit.
Contact Our North Carolina Daycare Abuse Lawyers Today
Your child is precious to you. The last thing you’d ever want is to find out your baby has been hurt or neglected because of a negligent daycare center. The attorneys at Hardison & Cochran are here to assist you with the legal ramifications if your child has endured daycare abuse. We’re concerned for your child’s welfare and will do what’s necessary to make sure you receive the justice you deserve.
If you believe your child has suffered daycare abuse in North Carolina, call the experienced lawyers at Hardison & Cochran toll-free at 800-434-8399 or fill out our online contact form. You’ll get a response within 24 hours. Let us help you today.